How to start creating


Hey friends,

To be honest I’m absolutely knackered after 2 days of solid filming for a new Skillshare class on ‘YouTube for Beginners’.

Through the process of creating it, one thing I realised is that it’s massively efficient to iterate on what you already know.

It was super easy for me to churn out a 3hr course about starting YouTube (that’ll probably reach 10k+ students) in a few days, because I already know the material, and have tons of experience. 5 years of YouTube, 4 cohorts of Part-Time YouTuber Academy, loads of messing around with cameras in my little student flat.

That’s my leverage. Working on all that stuff (for fun) in the past means I can get a lot of stuff done now without breaking a sweat.

So if you’ve got something that you know inside out and can just riff on for hours – car repair, cooking, birdwatching, fantasy books, reading random stuff online – that’s your leverage.

This is one of the main issues we see with students of our Part-Time YouTuber Academy who are struggling to grow on YouTube – they’re not leaning into their strengths as much as they could. Making videos (or writing, or podcasting, or anything) about stuff you’ve got deep, personal experience with, makes the whole creation process much easier and more fun, and also helps you ‘stand out’ in a fairly crowded market.

So if you’re one of the tens of thousands of subscribers to this newsletter who’ve been thinking about starting some sort of creative side-project but haven’t yet, here’s a challenge for this week – record a short video on your phone of you talking about a topic you know inside out, and could talk for hours about. You can always keep it on your phone for a few days and delete it later. But if you like, post it on Instagram, tag me, and I’ll try to give it a watch.

This leverage concept doesn’t just apply to creative side-hustles – it applies to basically everything in life. If you can find some way to leverage your strengths, or your unfair advantages, whatever you’re working on is more likely to stand out.

Anyway, for more info on using your leverage, check out my video review of The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed. I actually just had a great conversation with Hasan Kubba, one of the authors, on my Deep Dive podcast. 💥

Have a great week!

Ali xx

PS: Btw, we’ve got a sub-list of this newsletter where if you’re interested in starting or growing a YouTube channel, you can join the ‘secret list’ where I send semi-regular emails about tips for being a part-time creator and growing on YouTube. If you’d like to join, just click here and you’ll automatically be added (you can unsubscribe anytime from the secret list if you’d like).

🧠 Maker Mind

This week I want to share a newsletter that I’ve subscribed to (and actually read) for ages: Maker Mind by Anne-Laure Le Cunff. It’s all about mindful productivity and science-based strategies to “cultivate your curiosity, maximise your productivity, and dare to create”.

Anne-Laure’s also written 400+ amazing articles on her website Ness Labs, all while studying neuroscience and building her own private community for creators / knowledge workers. Like any self-respecting creator, she’s also been a PTYA mentor. 😉

Massively recommend signing up.

♥️ My Favourite Things

🎧 Audiobook – The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Basically the author’s life journey as a high-level tech CEO. Really engaging, good narration. Lots of lessons about running a business, particularly the emotional side of it.

🐦 Tweet Thread – Thoughts on Growing a YouTube Channel in 2022 by Roberto Blake. Great breakdown of what you should focus on if you’re thinking of starting a YouTube channel.

📱 Tech – iPhone 13 Pro. OK I’ve had this for a while and everyone knows about iPhones. But I did a side-by-side comparison of the iPhone with some dedicated film cameras like the Canon M50 ($500)… and holy crap the iPhone 13 Pro front-facing camera is amazing. Tbh it’d be possible to film a high-quality YouTube channel on your iPhone without anyone ever noticing.

✍️ Quote of the Week

For it to be solid, our happiness would not rely on fortuity or what we happen to have. It would be fundamentally about who we are.

From Happy by Derren Brown. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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